This post lists the best free walking tours you can take in Cologne, including self-guided tours and small group tours.
WHAT ARE FREE WALKING TOURS?
Free walking tours are technically pay-what-you-like tours.
Instead of paying an upfront cost, you can pay the guide what you thought the tour was worth at the end.
This means these tours are very popular and affordable and attract large crowds.
So, for travelers who want to ensure an experience with smaller groups of people, we recommend paid small group tours.
TIP: Take the popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour through Cologne for an easy mode of transportation that can help you cover more ground than you would while walking. Plus, this bus tour comes with a 1-hour cruise down the river!
WALKING TOURS IN COLOGNE
Here is a list of the best pay-what-you-like walking tours that run in Cologne.
Kai's Cologne Tours
This professional licensed tour guide provides a free pay-what-you-wish walking tour of Old Town Cologne which covers most of the significant landmarks in the city over the course of 2 hours.
You can take this tour from Saturday - Tuesday at either 10 am or 1 pm in English, and it is also available in Spanish at 10 am.
Kai also offers a free introduction to Cologne tour on weekends at 11 am. This outing is a bit longer at 2 hours 30 minutes in duration.
Aylin's Cologne Tours
If you're looking for an introductory tour of Cologne which covers the most notable landmarks in the city, Aylin's 12 years of experience as a tour guide should come in quite handy!
Currently, she's offering a 2-hour pay-what-you-want tour which is offered weekly on Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm. This tour is also sometimes offered on Saturdays at 11:30 am.
Free Walk Cologne
Free Walk Cologne offers 2 daily pay-what-you-like walking tours.
They run rain or shine with local guides who love the city and are excited to teach you about its history and current culture. The free tours are offered in English, German, and Spanish.
There is no need to book in advance.
Can You Handle It Tours
Can You Handle It Tours offers a 3-hour free walking tour every day at 10:00 am.
If you'd rather an afternoon walk, they start at 15:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.
You'll learn about the city's history as well as current popular spots for entertainment, food, and drinks.
They ask you to book in advance for a guaranteed spot, but you can show up to see if there's space.
Alternative Cologne Free Tours
If you're looking to learn a little more about the off-beat areas of Cologne and see some street art, take a free walking tour with Alternative Cologne.
They offer tours Fridays through Sundays and Wednesdays.
SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOURS
Self-guided walking tours are perfect for exploring at your own pace and on your own schedule.
This interactive self-guided walking tour map will direct you on a walk around Cologne's city centre.
However, there is little to no description about each of the points of interest on the map. You'd really be self-guiding this tour!
Angela's Corner Blog
This travel blog gives you a sample itinerary for a full day in Cologne, which gives you plenty of options for picking and choosing the interesting buildings, delicious cafes and restaurants, and art you visit on your walk.
It includes an interactive map and photos.
Cologne City Discovery Game
While not free, this fun and interactive riddle game will help you explore Cologne at your own pace.
After purchasing and downloading the app to your phone, it will send you on an approximately 3-hour journey aided by riddles that will lead you to the next stop on the tour.
Haunted Cologne Self-Guided Game
If you're looking for an alternative to the traditional tour, this self-guided exploration game will allow you to explore the city at your own pace as you discover some of the most haunted locations in Cologne.
Although this isn't a free service, at only €10 for up to 4 people, this self-guided game costs about as much as you might tip for a pay-what-you-want walking tour.